Deputy PM Yuthasak visits Pattani to clarify policy on far South

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BANGKOK, May 22 — Deputy Prime Minister Yuthasak Sasiprapa on Tuesday visited the southern province of Pattani to clarify the government policy to develop the southernmost provinces as one of the measures to solve the violence in the region.

Gen Yuthasak, who heads the newly established southern border provinces strategic steering committee is accompanied by Army Chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha to clarify the government’s 2012-2013 policies to officials on integrating work to tackle the region’s economic problems.

The deputy prime minister has been assigned by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to integrate the work of all agencies to make certain they are following the strategic plan to integrate operations to address the problem effectively.

He is also to coordinate with the Budget Bureau on fund allocation.

Gen Yutthasak, who oversees national security affairs, chaired a workshop on policies and strategies last week aimed at resolving southern problems attended by representatives of some 90 government units to emphasise the need for all to work cooperatively in the same direction.

The workshop was also attended by the chiefs of the National Security Council (NSC), Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC), Southern Border Provinces Administration Centre (SBPAC) and the Budget Bureau.

Gen Yutthasak said the SBPSC has been assigned to draw up a strategic plan for development and ISOC would be responsible to plan security operations.

The work of the two agencies must be in harmony and well coordinated, he added.

Gen Yuthasak said that during the visit he may ask local authorities for reports on what is happening with setting up red shirt villages in the southern provinces.

If the establishment plan has posed no problem with the government’s operations in dealing with problems in the southernmost province, then there would be no problems, he said.